It seems as though quitting smoking, giving up gluten, getting back to the gym, and promising ourselves we’ll do more yoga in 2014 are all New Year’s resolutions that are taking a backseat to those that have to with saving money, getting debt under control, and living within (or below) our means are the hot new trends.
So why is it that more than half of all Americans are making these kinds of commitments to themselves and their families? Younger and younger people are thinking about retirement, and this is likely an offshoot of the “contractor generation.” Millennials and those slightly older are far less likely to have a career in which they are married to one company that they will stay with for 30 or more years. With eyes wide open, many young people are beginning to truly understand the value of having something serious to fall back on when they reach retirement age.
But whatever the reasons are for wanting to save money, spend less money, or keep debt in check, these are all obviously very good choices your parents would be proud of. Not to say that everyone is looking for parental approval—plenty of people in older demographics also want to start saving more. As retirement nears and pensions no longer offer the promise of security they once did, and as the idea that social security may or may not be around in 10 or 20 years, saving for yourself might seem like you’re getting a raw deal when compared to past generations. But generally, young freelancers have a lot more freedom, and even those in older demographics are telecommuting thanks to the advances of technology that makes this practical for workers and companies alike.
But now that we have made the commitment to improve our financial situations by way of paying off debt and perhaps opening up a Roth IRA or money market, what real roadmaps do we have to help keep us on track? Unlike past generations, we have loads of options when it comes to affordable financial advisement and management, and many of them are free or very cheap.
All kinds of online financial tools, phone and tablet apps, and guides on how to reach retirement with enough money to enjoy the golden years comfortably rather than pension or social security check to check are now available. No one wants to have to deal with the stress of being strapped for cash in old age, so this fresh kind of New Year’s resolution is promising not just for those who will actually hold up to their resolutions, but also for taxpayers and family members who would otherwise have to carry those who have not prepared for retirement.
The hope for those who have made these resolutions is that they won’t cave in or give up on the promise they have made to themselves, much like those who commit to quitting smoking or losing weight do. It’s very easy to let things go as we get closer and closer to the next new year, but for those who stay firmly unyielding, the result will very likely be exceptional money management, debt that is manageable, and the ability to create the kind of savings that is undoubtedly needed for the time in life when we are no longer able to work or just don’t want to anymore. And for those who want to retire early, keeping this resolution always at the forefront will make it possible. Savings and management of money lead to freedom in later life whether we choose to face that fact or not while we are young.
Please feel free to contact Ella Gray at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or concerns.